Former Verona substitute teacher pleads guilty to sexual assault charges as part of plea deal

MADISON, Wis. — A former substitute teacher who was accused of inappropriately touching a 13-year-old student in 2020 pleaded guilty to several charges as part of a plea deal Monday.

Dustin Schallert was arrested in March 2020 after a female student in a class he was teaching at Badger Ridge Middle School reported he played with her hair and put his hand on the upper part of her chest, reaching under her shirt. The girl removed Schallert’s hand from under her shirt and immediately ran to the school office to report the incident.

Schallert was then removed from the classroom three minutes later and escorted off school grounds about 15 minutes after the student went to school administrators.

In a statement shortly after the incident was reported, the Verona Area School District apologized, calling Schallert’s behavior “inappropriate, degrading and humiliating.,” and banned him from all Verona school grounds.

Schallert faced one count of first-degree sexual assault of a person under the age of 13, one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child, one count of disorderly conduct, one count of causing mental harm to a child and two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.

FROM 2020: Substitute teacher allegedly put hand down shirt of teenage student

According to court records, the plea agreement reached Friday included Schallert pleading guilty to the disorderly conduct, causing mental harm to a child, and fourth-degree sexual assault charges, while prosecutors dropped the first- and second-degree sexual assault charges.

A trial was originally scheduled for this week before the plea deal was reached earlier this month.

Schallert is scheduled to be sentenced during a hearing on May 6.